Good Design, Good Business
The Apple Computer store uses structural glass throughout to attract passers-by and allow unobstructed views of the products and services. Yet by preserving the historic facade, the architects keep the store well integrated with the existing neighborhood, where it has become a local gathering place.
The New York firm of Wendy Evans Joseph Architecture renovated Wright's landmark Price Tower with Associate Architect, Ambler Architects, converting part of it to an arts center. The goals were to maintain the building's architectural integrity while ensuring the financial stability of the arts center. The architects returned Price Tower to mixed-use, incorporating a hotel and restaurant as part of a new conference facility.
In Mexico City, Hotel HABITA is also seeing new life thanks to redesign work by Taller de Enrique Norten (TEN) Arquitectos. A derelict 1950s apartment building in a grimy neighborhood has been transformed into a 36-room boutique hotel by reconfiguring interior spaces and enclosing exterior balconies with translucent glazing. The new hotel, bar and restaurant have become popular with both locals and tourists, stimulating the growth of other local businesses.
Another BW/AR award recipient is a new building for Image Net, a scanning/imaging organization. The client wanted a technologically advanced space where customers could tour the facility and see firsthand the production and assembly processes. Elliott + Associates Architects gave them this and more: a museum, of sorts, with historic typewriters and other objects illustrating the copy machine's history. The clarity of process has helped the client win and keep regular customers.
The Sekii Ladies Clinic in Hurukawa, Miyagi, Japan was designed by Atelier Hitoshi Abe for two obstetricians, a husband-wife team. The new clinic respects the cultural need for privacy while offering first-rate medical care. The building further reinforces the sense of patient security by locating the physicians' own private residence on site.
In the Darwin Centre of the Natural History Museum in London, architects of HOK International fulfilled the dual goal of giving researchers access to state-of-the-art laboratories while allowing the visiting public to see a much larger portion of the collection. Like the predecessor building, the new one sports detail that describes what happens inside. These include zoomorphic brackets of a solar wall, a changing appearance created by the sun-tracking metal louvers, and the caterpillar-like roof.
An engineering facility for the European mobile phone company Orange Innovations was designed by Anmahian Winton Architects, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. From five existing one-story masonry warehouses separated by narrow alleyways, the architect created a single structure, replacing the alleyways with glass atria. Expanding interior walls, mobile workstations, and an overhead power and telecommunications grid accommodate workgroups of varying sizes and needs. Employees greatly prefer their new workplace over their former cubicles.
Barkow Leibinger Architects of Berlin designed offices for the high-tech equipment manufacturer TRUMPF, in Grüsch, Switzerland. Careful not to disturb the beautiful natural setting, the architects produced an attractive and flexible building that allows magnificent views to the surroundings and facilitates cooperation between administrative, production, and laboratory spaces.
Finally, on the site of a remediated industrial brownfield in Culver City, California, Eric Owen Moss Architects designed a speculative office building known as "Stealth/Ogilvy." An 850-seat theater occupies the ground floor, with offices on the upper floors. The flexible, open work environment reflects nonhierarchical work methods, and the building has become an urban landmark. Business investment in the area has increased by 200 percent, and property values by 500 percent.
As the ten award recipients demonstrate, there are many ways to measure "success" in design.
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The jury for the BW/AR Awards included Brad Cloepfil, AIA, Allied Works; Sam Farber, OXO and WOVO; Rob Forbes, Design Within Reach; Don Frischmann, Symantec Corporation; Ralph E. Johnson, FAIA, Perkins & Will; Sheila Kennedy, AIA, Kennedy & Violich Architecture; José Oncina, Microsoft Global Real Estate and Facilities; Karen Stein, Phaidon Press; Rich Varda, AIA, ASLA, Target Corporation; and Marion Weiss, AIA, Weiss/ Manfredi Architects.
Hotel HABITA, by Taller de Enrique Norten (TEN) Arquitectos, received a Business Week/ Architectural Record design award.
Photo: Enrique Norten
Image Net, by Elliott + Associates Architects.
Photo: Robert Shimer
The Sekii Ladies Clinic by Atelier Hitoshi Abe.
Photo: Daici Ano
The Darwin Centre of the Natural History Museum by HOK International.
Photo: Peter Durant
Orange Innovations by Anmahian Winton Architects.
Photo: Peter Vanderwalker
TRUMPF offices by Barkow Leibinger Architects.
Photo: Margherita Spiluttini
"Stealth/Ogilvy" by Eric Owen Moss Architects.
Photo: Tom Bonner
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